A website of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Teaching About Refugees presents free and adaptable teaching materials on refugees, asylum, migration, and statelessness, as well as a section dedicated to professional development and guidance for elementary and secondary school teachers on including refugee children in their classes. The site’s sections are entitled “Words Matter,” “Facts and Figures About Refugees,” “UNHCR Media Materials and Reports,” “Teaching Materials,” “Including Refugees in Your Classroom,” and “Other Teaching Resources.” Since refugee children have often experienced traumatic events in their country of origin and during their journey to safety, Including Refugees in Your Classroom provides background materials developed by UNHCR and the Harvard Center on the Developing Child on how stress and trauma interfere with executive function in children. The Stress and Trauma Guide describes the symptoms teachers may observe when working with refugee children and suggests class activities and exercises to release tension and allow refugee children to express emotions in a safe environment. In addition, most refugee children go through an intensive phase of language development when they arrive in schools in host countries. The UNHCR Language Acquisition Guidebook explains what teachers can expect from children learning a new language, how long language acquisition may take, and how understanding and internalizing new languages can be improved.
It has been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic shut-down school districts nationwide. The U.S. shifted into a state of loss and then grief. Loss of what we thought was stable including income, job security, and daily routines. Loss of over a year’s worth of social plans we had for ourselves including graduation parties, family reunions, and weddings. Plans have been put on hold repeatedly and hearts have felt the heaviness of disappointment non-stop.
The Online Teaching and Learning in Actionworkshop offered by Harvard Graduate Schoolof Education serves as an action-oriented space where classroom teachers, curriculum leaders, and administrators can engage in conversation, participate in a supportive community, give and receive feedback from peers, and iterate on work in a flexible environment.
For the third consecutive school year, the rhythms of our schools are being disrupted by a global pandemic that has laid bare existing inequities across almost every relevant metric. On September 22, 2021,educators can join a gathering of Harvard University education experts to surface key challenges and concerns—and concrete ideas for addressing them.